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📄 Contents

  1. Digital Lifestyles Reference Guide
  2. Home Audio
  3. Audio Standards
  4. Dolby Surround Sound
  5. DTS Surround Sound
  6. THX
  7. MP3
  8. Windows Media Audio (WMA)
  9. Advanced Audio Coding (AAC)
  10. Digital Rights Management (DRM)
  11. Informit Articles and Sample Chapters
  12. Books and e-Books
  13. Online Resources
  14. Audio Analog/Digital Components
  15. Receivers
  16. DVD-Audio Players
  17. CD/SACD Players
  18. Making Your Decision
  19. Books and e-Books
  20. Online Resources
  21. Audio Component Integration
  22. Standalone Components
  23. Internet Radio Receivers
  24. Connecting a PC to Your Home Stereo
  25. Making Your Decision
  26. Informit Articles and Sample Chapters
  27. Books and e-Books
  28. Online Resources
  29. Home Video
  30. Video Standards
  31. DVD versus VCD
  32. MPEG-1 and MPEG-2
  33. DTV
  34. HDTV
  35. HDTV Buying Tips
  36. Video Out: Composite, Component, and S-Video
  37. CSS Explained
  38. Making Your Decision
  39. Informit Articles and Sample Chapters
  40. Books and e-Books
  41. Online Resources
  42. Video Components
  43. Playback Components
  44. DVD Players
  45. Personal Video Recorders (PVRs)
  46. VHS
  47. Laser Discs
  48. Media Center PCs
  49. What's New in Media Center 2005
  50. Video-on-Demand (VoD)
  51. Screens
  52. Making Your Decision
  53. Informit Articles and Sample Chapters
  54. Books and e-Books
  55. Online Resources
  56. A/V Integration
  57. Home Theater
  58. Component Integration
  59. Universal Remotes
  60. Combining Home Theater with Home Computing
  61. Making Your Decision
  62. Books and e-Books
  63. Online Resources
  64. Home Theater PCs
  65. Uses for an HTPC
  66. Components of an HTPC
  67. Windows Media Center PCs
  68. Build Your Own HTPC
  69. Informit Articles and Sample Chapters
  70. Books and e-Books
  71. Online Resources
  72. Rear Projection Televisions
  73. CRT Projectors
  74. DLP Projectors
  75. LCD Projectors
  76. LCoS Projectors
  77. Choosing the Right RPTV Technology
  78. Informit Articles and Sample Chapters
  79. Books and e-Books
  80. Online Resources
  81. Multimedia Networks
  82. Connecting Your PC Network to Your Home Theater System
  83. Investing in Media Center Software
  84. What if Your PC and Home Theater are in Different Rooms?
  85. Media Center Extenders
  86. Multimedia Appliances
  87. Making the Connection
  88. Informit Articles and Sample Chapters
  89. Books and e-Books
  90. Online Resources
  91. PVRs, Consoles, and Media Extenders
  92. Finding the Right PVR
  93. Types of PVR Solutions
  94. Set Top Box PVR
  95. Portable PVRs
  96. DVD-Recorders
  97. Making Your Decision
  98. Getting the Most from Your TiVo
  99. Networking Your TiVo
  100. Transfer Video from TiVo to PC at Home
  101. Transfer Video from Your PC to TiVo
  102. Transferring Video from TiVo to a PC Anywhere
  103. Burning DVDs of TiVo Recording
  104. Watch TiVo Shows on a iPod Video Or Sony PSP
  105. Software PVR Solutions
  106. Required Features
  107. Optional Features with Advantages
  108. Software PVR Options
  109. Conclusion
  110. 10 Things You Didn't Know About the Xbox 360
  111. Xbox 360 Networking Tips
  112. Mobile Computing
  113. Notebook Computer Audio
  114. USB Audio
  115. FireWire Audio
  116. PCMCIA Audio
  117. Making Your Decision
  118. Books and e-Books
  119. Online Resources
  120. Broadband
  121. High-Speed Internet Options
  122. Cable
  123. DSL
  124. Cellular Data Services
  125. Satellite
  126. Wireless ISPs
  127. Making Your Decision
  128. Informit Articles and Sample Chapters
  129. Books and e-Books
  130. Online Video Subscription Services
  131. Today's Options
  132. Making Your Decision
  133. Informit Articles and Sample Chapters
  134. Books and e-Books
  135. Voice over IP
  136. Softphone VoIP
  137. InformIT Articles and Sample Chapters
  138. Books and e-Books
  139. Home Automation
  140. Home Automation Applications
  141. Types of Home Automation Systems
  142. Automation Features
  143. Making Your Decision
  144. Informit Articles and Sample Chapters
  145. Home Automation Security
  146. Making Your decision
  147. Informit Articles and Sample Chapters
  148. Books and e-Books
  149. Online Resources
  150. Books and e-Books
  151. Online Resources
  152. Digital Photography
  153. Digital Cameras
  154. Megapixels
  155. Camera Bodies
  156. Batteries
  157. Zoom Lenses
  158. Auto Focus vs. Manual Focus
  159. LCD Screens
  160. Exposure Settings
  161. White Balance
  162. Storage Formats
  163. Wi-Fi-enabled Digital Cameras
  164. Purchasing the Right Digital Camera
  165. Informit Articles and Sample Chapters
  166. Books and e-Books
  167. Online Resources
  168. Digital Photo Editing Tools
  169. Photo Organizers
  170. Photo Editing Suites
  171. Deciding Which App to Use
  172. Informit Articles and Sample Chapters
  173. Books and e-Books
  174. Online Resources
  175. Digital Photography Tips
  176. Informit Articles and Sample Chapters
  177. Books and e-Books
  178. Editing Digital Photographs
  179. Informit Articles and Sample Chapters
  180. Books and e-Books
  181. Online Prints From Digital Images
  182. Making Your Decision
  183. Digital Video
  184. Camcorders
  185. Camcorder Features You Shouldn't Be Without
  186. Recording Formats
  187. DV Camera Tools
  188. Books and e-Books
  189. Online Resources
  190. Digital Video Editing Tools
  191. Features to Look For
  192. Popular Video Editing Software
  193. Books and e-Books
  194. Online Resources
  195. Using Video Vault to Port Content to Portable Media Players
  196. 10 Tips to Improve Digital Video
  197. Weblogs and Podcasting
  198. Overview of Weblogs
  199. Blogs as Text
  200. Blogs as Pictorials
  201. Blogs as Audio
  202. Blogs as Video
  203. Getting Started
  204. Informit Articles and Sample Chapters
  205. Books and e-Books
  206. Online Resources
  207. Blogging Tools
  208. Hosted Services
  209. Desktop Tools
  210. Hosting Your Own Blog
  211. Making Your Decision
  212. Informit Articles and Sample Chapters
  213. Books and e-Books
  214. Photo Blogging
  215. Photo Blogging Services
  216. Hosted Services with Photo Support
  217. Making Your Decision
  218. Informit Articles and Sample Chapters
  219. Books and e-Books
  220. Audio Blogging
  221. Blog By Phone
  222. Recording Your Own Audio Blog Posts
  223. Audio Hosting Services
  224. Podcasting
  225. Making Your Decision
  226. Informit Articles and Sample Chapters
  227. Books and e-Books
  228. Recording and Distributing Podcasts
  229. Recording Software
  230. Before Recording
  231. Recording Your Podcast
  232. Publishing Your Podcast
  233. Podcasting Features in Apple's iTunes
  234. Informit Articles and Sample Chapters
  235. Books and e-Books
  236. Online Resources
  237. Video Blogging
  238. Video Blogging By Webcam
  239. Creating a Video Blog From Scratch
  240. Video Hosting Services
  241. Distributing Video Blogs
  242. Making Your Decision
  243. Informit Articles and Sample Chapters
  244. Books and e-Books
  245. Online Resources
  246. Attracting Traffic to Your Blog
  247. Informit Articles and Sample Chapters
  248. Books and e-Books
  249. Blogging Rules for Revolutionaries
  250. How Blogging will Change the World
  251. Create a Link to This Site Campaign
  252. Meta Tag Your Revolution
  253. New Comment Posted
  254. Coordinate Your Efforts
  255. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
  256. Portable and Handheld Devices
  257. Motorola ROKR: iTunes on Your Phone
  258. ROKR iTunes Features
  259. Cell Phone Standards
  260. Making Your Decision
  261. Manufacturer Resources
  262. Sony PSP
  263. PSP Navigation
  264. PSP as a Gaming Platform
  265. PSP for Movies
  266. PSP for Music
  267. Wireless Networking
  268. Bottom Line
  269. Informit Articles and Sample Chapters
  270. Online Resources
  271. Portable Digital Audio Players
  272. Types of Players
  273. File Formats
  274. Popular Models
  275. Informit Articles and Sample Chapters
  276. Books and e-Books
  277. Online Resources
  278. Integrating an iPod with a Car Audio System
  279. Auxiliary Line In Connections
  280. CD Changer Connection Integration
  281. Custom Integration
  282. Making Your Choice
  283. Informit Articles and Sample Chapters
  284. Online Resources
  285. Portable Entertainment Centers
  286. Screen Sizes
  287. Hard Disk Space
  288. File Formats
  289. Video Recording
  290. Battery Life
  291. Connection Options
  292. Additional Accessories
  293. Making Your Choice
  294. Informit Articles and Sample Chapters
  295. Online Resources
  296. PDAs
  297. Fancy Features
  298. Palm OS or Pocket PC?
  299. Palm OS Models
  300. Pocket PC Models
  301. Informit Articles and Sample Chapters
  302. Books and e-Books
  303. Online Resources
  304. Smartphones
  305. Different Types of Smartphones
  306. PDA/Phones
  307. Phone-Based Smartphones
  308. Cool Ways to Improve Your Windows Mobile Smartphone
  309. Informit Articles and Sample Chapters
  310. Books and e-Books
  311. Online Resources
  312. Cellular Network Technologies
  313. FDMA
  314. CDMA
  315. TDMA
  316. GSM
  317. iDEN
  318. PCS
  319. Dual Band and Dual Mode Phones
  320. Informit Articles and Sample Chapters
  321. Books and e-Books
  322. Online Resources
  323. Hi-Speed Wireless Data Plans
  324. Cingular Plans
  325. Verizon Wireless Plans
  326. Making Your Decision
  327. Low-Tech Alternatives to Cell Phone Feature Overload
  328. High Tech Watches
  329. Smart Watch Technology
  330. MSN Direct
  331. Popular Smart Watches
  332. Other Types of High-Tech Watches
  333. Books and e-Books
  334. Online Resources
  335. Portable Audio Recording
  336. Features
  337. Editing Features
  338. Effects
  339. Devices
  340. Making a Decision
  341. Informit Articles and Sample Chapters
  342. Books and e-Books
  343. Handheld GPS Receivers
  344. GPS Features
  345. ABCs of GPS
  346. Making A Choice
  347. Books and e-Books
  348. Online Resources
  349. Portable Gadgets for Holiday Giving
  350. PDA Accessories
  351. Portable Music Players
  352. iPod Accessories
  353. Headphones and Earbuds
  354. Other Cool Portable Gadgets
  355. Informit Articles and Sample Chapters
  356. Books and e-Books
  357. Online Resources
  358. Automobiles
  359. Satellite Radio
  360. How Satellite Radio Works
  361. XM Radio Programming
  362. SIRIUS Satellite Radio Programming
  363. XM Radio Receivers
  364. SIRIUS Receivers
  365. Informit Articles and Sample Chapters
  366. Books and e-Books
  367. Online Resources
  368. Satellite Navigation Systems
  369. How GPS Works
  370. Doing the Math
  371. Using the GPS Data
  372. Popular Automobile GPS Systems
  373. Books and e-Books
  374. Online Resources
  375. In-Car Computers
  376. Software
  377. Cases
  378. Power Interface
  379. LCD Screen
  380. Human Interface Options
  381. Storage Media
  382. Networking
  383. Audio
  384. Video
  385. Bluetooth
  386. Making Your Decision
  387. Online Resources
  388. E-Commerce
  389. Find Free Music — Legally
  390. Record Label Sites
  391. Blogs
  392. Podcasts
  393. Informit Articles and Sample Chapters
  394. Books and e-Books
  395. Subscription Audio Services
  396. Making Your Decision
  397. Informit Articles and Sample Chapters
  398. Books and e-Books
  399. Digital Wallets
  400. The History of Digital Wallets
  401. What is a Digital Wallet—and How Does It Work?
  402. Who Offers Digital Wallets
  403. Books and Online Resources
  404. Identity Theft
  405. How Your Identity Can Be Stolen
  406. What an Identity Thief Does With Your Personal Information
  407. Preventing Identity Theft
  408. What to Do If Your Identity Has Been Stolen
  409. Informit Articles and Sample Chapters
  410. Books and e-Books
  411. Online Resources
  412. Online Shopping Fraud
  413. Why Online Shopping Is (Generally) Safe
  414. Reporting Online Shopping Fraud
  415. Top Ten Tips for Safer Online Shopping
  416. Informit Articles and Sample Chapters
  417. Books and e-Books
  418. Online Resources
  419. Online and Desktop Mapping
  420. Web-Based Maps
  421. Desktop Maps
  422. Making Your Decision
  423. eBook Formats and Readers
  424. Formats
  425. eBook Hardware
  426. Sources of eBooks
  427. Making Your Decision
  428. 10 Google Maps Hacks
  429. Robotics
  430. Robots You Can Buy (or Build) Today
  431. Toy Robots
  432. Home Automation Robots
  433. Do-It-Yourself Robots
  434. Industrial Robots
  435. Informit Articles and Sample Chapters
  436. Books and e-Books
  437. Online Resources
  438. Additional Resources
  439. Predictions for 2006
  440. Jake's Digital Lifestyles Reading List
  441. Jake's Top Ten Digital Lifestyles Web Resources
  442. 10 Things on the Digital Lifestyle Holiday Wish List
  443. 2006 Consumer Electronics Show Preview
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One of the biggest challenges of the Web is getting more people to visit your site. Call it a homepage, a blog, a Website or whatever the buzzword du jour may be, if no one visits, does your blog really exist? As someone who makes my living blogging, here are a few of the strategies I use to help find new visitors and keep people coming back for more.

Be Interesting

This is the only intangible tip I'm providing in the list. There's no surefire method for grabbing a reader's attention, although there are plenty of ways to lose that attention. Being interesting is number one on my list here because it's the most important thing you can do to get traffic. It sounds cliché, but writing about your cat or writing about what you had for breakfast has a very limited audience. Write things to engage your readers and they link to you on their own blogs, they will tell friends about you and most importantly they will come back for more. This doesn't mean your blog shouldn't exude personality - quite the opposite; telling a story about how your daily life fits into the subject of your blog is perfect for an interesting blog post.

Be Consistent

Consistency is a two part solution to bringing in boatloads of readers and generating many return visits. One part of consistency is posting regularly. One or two posts every day provide readers with a steady diet of your insights in a digestible size and it gives search engines a reason to visit your site frequently and keep you indexed. The second part of consistency is something I wrestle with regularly. I have a core interest in audio and video, occasionally veering into a wide range of other subjects depending on what's going on in my life. While I strongly encourage everyone to lead a diverse interesting life, keep your blog focused on whatever your core topic happens to be. If you find yourself regularly veering into a particular topic, start a second blog dedicated to that topic and consistently update it with posts related to the second topic. For instance if your primary blog is about golfing and you always post about golfing, but you are widely interested in food and start wanting to post about food on a regular basis; start a second blog about food. Some of your readers from the golf blog may love your food posts, but people are reading your blog because you write about golf, not because of your recent food fetish.

Don't Give Everything Away in RSS

Robert Scoble won't subscribe to your feed if you don't deliver full text RSS, but most people will, as long as you provide enough to keep them interested. Partial text encourages the reader to come to your blog site, read your thoughts and respond in your comments. A second reason to avoid full text feeds is content thieves. There are companies who build entire sites by scraping content from RSS feeds and posting it as their own. If you post only part of the feed with a link for the rest of the story, when your content is scraped by one of these automatic site generators, you also get a link from their page to your blog.

Comment on Other Blogs

I have a love hate relationship with spam. For most of my own blogging, I take the arrogant opinion that if you really want to comment on something I've said, you can post your comments on your own blog and link to what I wrote about. I get fewer comments this way, but I also don't get nearly as many rude comments because people are less likely to call you names when the comment is directly attributed to them.

On the other hand, if someone posts something I feel strongly about on their blog and they do allow comments; I make my comments on their blog. The key is to do this with attribution. By attributing your comments to you, you generate credibility with other people who both agree or disagree with you. As people read blogs, they will see your name associated with your comments and possibly click through and visit your blog. Never comment anonymously. If you don't want your name associated with something you said; don't say it.

Submit Your Feed to Blog Search Engines

It seems like a new blog index appears on the Web every few hours. Each of these services promises to help get your blog more visitors with the best search available. Reality is slightly different. There are a number of places you want to have your blog posts indexed, including the obvious Google, Yahoo and MSN triad. At the top level of blog search, Ice Rocket, Feedster and Technorati all offer outstanding service. Probably the best list of directories to submit to is Robin Good's RSSTop55 which is a list of 55 important places to submit your blog feed.

Use Social Bookmarking Services

Social bookmarking is an area of the Web a little like voodoo. There's no clear path of success, although it can translate to massive amounts of traffic. Basically these sites require you to set up an account where you maintain a list of links. You assign tags to each link based on the subject matter of the link. For instance, if you wrote a blog post about fishing in the rivers near the Cascade Mountains, you might add a link to that post in a social bookmarking service and tag it 'fishing,' 'river,' 'mountains,' and 'Cascades'. The so-called social aspect comes into play because you can see what everyone else using the service identified with the same tags. If people search on a particular tag, they will see your link in the list along with everyone else's. The horribly named del.icio.us is the best known of these services, widely used by people all over the world.

Another popular component of these sites is voting. Registered users of the service vote on posts, filtering popular items to the top pages of the site. Digg is a technology focused site with a voting scheme that will potentially drive tons of traffic to a popular post. BlinkList is a similar service with a broader base of topics.

Tag Your Feeds

Another emerging trend in traffic generation is the general concept of tagging. Blog search sites like Technorati use tags to help generate meaningful search results. Instead of going to Technorati's site and adding my post to an account, make the tag designations locally on your blog. Using the fishing example above, if I want Technorati to lump my post in with other posts related to fishing, I would add a link in the post that specifies the tag like this:

<a href="http://technorati.com/tag/fishing]" rel="tag">fishing</a>

Notice the last word in the link is 'fishing' which is my tag and the rel="tag" tells Technorati that link is a tag. I repeat the tag name in the visible text for the link which takes anyone who clicks on the link to Technorati's results for the tag 'fishing'.

Subscribe to Your RSS Feed

As silly as it sounds, one of the smartest ways to make sure other people will find your blog is by subscribing to your own RSS feed in every online aggregator. My Yahoo, MSN and Google Reader are probably the most important on the list, but don't overlook sites like Bloglines and Newsgator Online. There are dozens of smaller sites with Web based news readers all with niche audiences so if you happen on one, take the time to subscribe your site.

Use Ping Services

Ping services are sites on the Internet that accept announcements from blogs about a new post. Most blog software automates this process, automatically sending an announcement to the known sites accepting pings. This ping information is used by a variety of services to keep track of the latest updates across the Web. One way to maximize your pinging is by using a service called Ping-o-Matic. By pinging the Ping-o-Matic service you automatically send update notifications out to as many as 22 sites. Be careful not to ping too often though; many ping services will block you if your pings become over zealous.

Remind People You Exist with Email

I started blogging backwards. My site was the way I got people to read my newsletter, first at Lockergnome and now independently. The role is slightly reversed now. Instead of the newsletter being a destination, it's a starting point. Subscribers receive the newsletter, which summarizes stuff on the site and drives traffic back to posts on the site. In the old way of doing things, the days when the newsletter went out were the primary form of exchange between reader and information. Days when no newsletter went out were fairly devoid of traffic. Today, the days when newsletters are published still represent bigger traffic spikes, but in general the traffic from one day to the next is consistently higher because of all the other things I do to generate traffic to the site.

My publishing is mostly automated, but a newsletter may be an extra step some people don't want to hassle with. A free service called Bloglet makes this a painless process. Bloglet collects subscriptions through a form on your blog. Instead of sending out a newsletter, Bloglet sends out an email to subscribers automatically, letting them know about new posts on the site.

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